The Barge Canal Coffee Company



Food Offerings: The Barge offers a wide variety of fair trade coffee and coffee drinks and a large selection of different kinds of tea, from herbal infusions to chai. If you need to nosh a bit, pick out a baked good from the tempting display case (there are even some vegan options), a bagel, one of the daily soups or, if you’re lucky, their famous chicken chili.

Hours: Sunday 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Monday – Thursday, 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Friday – Saturday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Delivery: No.

Location: 37 Lebanon Street

Phone Number: 315-824-4331

Price Range: Cheap


Quality of Food: The Barge is first and foremost a coffee place, and the barristas brew a pretty good cup of joe, with multiple brew options for regular coffee. The espresso drinks are a bit more temperamental – this isn’t a café in Paris – but they will satisfy a caffeine addict’s shakes. Tea at the Barge is impressive, with many loose teas that are served to you in a strainer with flavors from simple green tea to more exotic varieties such as grapefruit, spearmint, or pomegranate. As for the snacks to accompany your beverage, the Barge knows how to bake. My particular favorites are the magic cookie bars (the magic is that I only eat one of them) and macaroons, but there is always some sort of towering chocolate pastry or apple pie in there as well for those with a larger sweet tooth. Skip the bagels, unless you’re in the mood for a dinner roll. The real knockout, though, is the chicken chili. This chili is smooth, thick and loaded with flavor. I’ve never had chicken chili this delicious – I don’t think anyone has. There must be some kind of addictive drug hidden in this spicy goodness, because I have never heard of a student who wasn’t absolutely in love with it. Lines for the chili can get competitive, and it is not uncommon to hear an anguished yelp from a student who has been told that they ran out. You say you want some chili at 2:00 pm on a Saturday? Not a chance.

Décor: The Barge claims it is “the community’s living room” on its website, and this is a very apt description: a variety of large, comfy chairs and couches dot this coffee shop, with tables as well where you can always find a student doing work or watching the downtown scene from the large windows. Changing artwork from students and local artists decorates the walls, and free newspapers are available when you walk in (like the Maroon-News!) The Barge also hosts many musical performances, from Colgate student groups to more well-known performers. As a creation of the Colgate University administration that was meant to provide students with a non-alcoholic social spot, there is always a nice social buzz surrounding this cozy coffee house.

Service: As with mostly every other restaurant in Hamilton, it all depends on how busy the Barge is, particularly if you order a specialty drink or espresso beverage. If you just want a regular coffee, there is a cash box with cups where patrons can simply drop their money and then help themselves.